I should be dead 10 times over or at least permanently injured, or lame, or something equally as horrific. The longer I live, the more I realize how fortunate I am just to be around. Between the lifestyle I lived and the mental illness I experienced, there were plenty of opportunities for me to not be living. That must seem a little exaggerated. It’s not.
Growing up with depression without knowing it is depression is very confusing. You don’t know the thoughts you have aren’t the same thoughts everybody else is having. You keep thinking that it’s just a matter of time before things change and you are able to live a life that is more in line with the way you perceive how others live. And while that whole perception can be wrong unto itself, I didn’t change, the depression gets more deep rooted and life spirals out of control.
It was 1991 when I decided that life wasn’t going to change unless I did something drastic. It wasn’t that I wanted to die, I just didn’t want to live the life I was living anymore. So, I checked myself into a psychiatric hospital. And life would get better, then worse, and so on. But at least now, I had hope. And that what is missing in a depressed person’s mind. Hope. It’s gone.
There was an 8 year period, between 1980 and 1987, where I lived a lifestyle that was considered by many to be the prototypical single, fraternity type, way to live. Drugs, sex, and whatever else you might want. I was in the US Air Force, then off to San Diego State and a fraternity. In those 8 years, I did everything I could think of to fill that void I had. That’s what society was telling me to do. Again, I thought it was one day going to change. It didn’t.
After school, my life was empty. After two years I came to a point where I needed to change. And Jesus was right there. There are many instances I can look at and believe that he was there, guiding, protecting. But the story doesn’t end there or even come to a satisfying conclusion. That was just the start to discovering what the truth is about life. Is life better now a days? Yes. Do I struggle? Yes. And I’ve finally gotten to the point to realize that I will struggle, that’s part of the deal in life. Indeed.
I am trying to articulate that without God in my life, my life would have been pointless. There was nothing special I had that I could give to society. Knowing I don’t have to strive to achieve something that is unachievable lets me be calm down and relax. I hope that some of these words resonate and you believe that God has the answer. No, God is the answer.